Core Location: Techniques

Stabilizing is resting your motor hand on the guitar while you are picking, which provides points of reference for your motor arm/hand system [there are many].

Floating is hovering your motor hand over the strings while you are picking [we still 'stabilize' - touch the edge of the guitar with the forearm]. I prefer putting the binding of the guitar in the elbow crease.

Types of stabilizing...


This is a base stabilizer. By resting our arm on the side/top of the guitar, we have a point of reference. This is most commonly used for strumming, yet we can pick in this way too, & when we do, our hand is floating.


It is common to use the guitar soundboard to stabilize. We demonstrate this using the pinky under the strings.


With this type of stabilizing, we are using our wrist or palm to rest on the bridge, without touching the strings [as in palm muting].


We can rest our motor hand on the strings, either below or above the strings being picked. This is vital if we are using distortion, so the guitar doesn't clamor. We often roll the hand back & forth between the fingers & the thumb side of the hand. This creates a 'channel' in the hand for the string to vibrate.

Palm Muting

This is dampening the strings right next to the bridge using the soft fleshy part of our palm. This creates an effect, as well as a point of reference. If we moved 'too far' up towards the fretboard, the strings would be muted.